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What is Graysexuality?


What is Graysexuality?

Graysexuality, aka “greysexuality, ”gray asexuality, gray-a, gray-ace, or grey-ace, describes those who are asexual but aren’t within the primary types of asexuality. Want to discuss more on this topic? Join our online community forum, where folks worldwide connect and discuss topics that matter to them most by engaging in endless conversations. 

What is Asexuality?

The Asexuality Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) defines an asexual person as someone who experiences little to no sexual attraction. In addition, the opposite of asexual is sexual, also known as allosexual.

The three main types of asexuality include sex-repulsed, sex-neutral, and sex-positive. Here are some more details about these forms of asexuality:

  • Sex-repulsed: Someone who has an aversion or is entirely disinterested in sex.
  • Sex-neutral: Someone who isn’t repulsed by sex necessarily but may not actively look for it. In essence, these people may still engage in sex if they’re in a relationship and want to please their partner.  
  • Sex-positive: A person who identifies as asexual but doesn’t feel sexual attraction to other people; however, they will still have sex for pleasure. 

One common misconception is that asexuality is a medical issue. However, being asexual isn’t the same as having a low libido. We will talk more about this topic later in the article. 

What Is Graysexuality?

Graysexuality, however, can be more tricky to define. Some believe it is a sexual grey area. This term is intentionally vague to apply to anyone who falls between the spectrum of asexual and sexual. These folks might experience sexual attraction every once in a while but don’t for the most part.

Related: What is Allosexism?

What Is Being Graysexual Like?

A graysexual person might have past sexual experiences that don’t align with their current sexual identity. Other graysexual people might identify with this label because they experience sexual attraction not that often and the interest is not strong enough to pursue.

Am I Graysexual?

All in all, graysexuality is unique to the individual. However, there are some common graysexual characteristics that many people experience. Think about whether the following attributes apply to you to determine if you could be graysexual:

  • Not considering sexual attraction a priority when choosing a romantic partner
  • Not believing that sex is the most crucial aspect of a relationship 
  • Feeling sexual attraction sometimes, but not all the time.
  • Showing love and affection for your partner in a non-sexual way, like cuddling, for instance. 

There’s no specific test that will determine whether you identify as graysexual. However, if you are curious if you fall within the umbrella, you can ask yourself the following questions:

  • How often do I have sexual attraction?
  • How intense is the sexual attraction I have?
  • Do I need to feel sexual attraction to have a relationship with someone?
  • How do I like showing affection? Is sex a significant factor that plays into it?
  • What are my feelings about sex?
  • Do I feel pressure when it comes to wanting and enjoying sex, or do I actually want it and enjoy it?
  • Would I feel comfortable identifying as asexual or allosexual? Why or why not?

There are no right or wrong answers, and every graysexual person is not the same and would answer each of these questions differently due to their own experiences and emotions. However, thinking about these questions can be a good start in processing your feelings and understanding how you experience attraction.

How Is Being Graysexual Different From Just Having a Low Libido?

Sexual attraction is different from libido, which is a person’s sex drive.

Libido is when you desire to have sex for pleasure and sexual release. Sexual attraction, however, is when you find someone attractive and would like to have sex with them. 

Some asexual and graysexual people can have a high libido, while allosexual people can have a low libido.

Can You Experience Other Forms of Attraction?

Asexual and graysexual people can have other types of attraction. These forms of attraction include:

  • Romantic attraction: wanting to have a romantic relationship with someone
  • Aesthetic attraction: being attracted to someone due to their physical appearance. 
  • Sensual or physical attraction: having the urge to touch, hold, or cuddle someone
  • Platonic attraction: wanting to have a friendship with someone
  • Emotional attraction: desiring to have an emotional connection with someone

What About Romantic Attractions?

Asexual and graysexual people can also experience various romantic attractions and identify with various romantic orientations. These include:

  • Aromantic: Having little to no romantic attraction to anyone.
  • Biromantic: Being romantically attracted to people of two or more genders.
  • Greyromantic: Having romantic attraction but not often. 
  • Demiromantic: You have romantic attraction infrequently, and when it does occur, you develop a strong emotional connection to the person. 
  • Heteroromantic: Being romantically attracted to people of a different gender to you.
  • Homoromantic: Being romantically attracted to people of the same gender as you.
  • Polyromantic: Experiencing romantic attraction to many people, but not every gender. You can be asexual or graysexual and identify with any of the above romantic orientations.

In addition, you can identify as asexual or graysexual with any of the previously mentioned romantic orientations. For instance, you might identify as graysexual and biromantic.

This is known as “mixed-orientation” or “cross-orientation,” which is essentially when the group of people you are sexually attracted to is different from who you are romantically attracted to.

What Are Some Myths Surrounding Graysexuality?

The misconceptions around graysexuality can be similar to the ones around asexuality. For example, some people might think asexual and graysexual people haven’t found the right person yet or that it’s a phase. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth since asexuality and graysexuality are legitimate sexual orientations.

Another common myth is that asexual or graysexual people can’t enjoy sex. In actuality, they can get pleasure from sex, and many will pursue it. In addition, asexual and graysexual people may enjoy sex without being sexually attracted to someone.

What Are Some Resources for Graysexuality?

Coming out to other people about your sexual orientation isn’t necessary if you aren’t comfortable with it. This process can be challenging, and having to explain a complex sexual or romantic orientation can be a daunting task. 

If you do come out to your loved ones, there are various online resources and support groups that you can join. These groups will have advice and people you can connect with who understand and might be going through a similar experience. In addition, you can navigate our resources at LGBTQ and  ALL to help in your journey of self-discovery. 

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Danielle Aubin (she/her), Online Clinical Social Worker/Therapist, Roseville, CA

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